These descriptions give a general indication of the standards of achievement at each level. They should be interpreted in relation to the content outlined in the subject content section of this specification.
The grade awarded will depend on how well the student has met the assessment objectives and these descriptors. If a student has performed less well in some areas, this may be balanced by better performance in others.
GCSE-ready descriptors have been added to this specification. The qualification cannot be awarded at this level but the descriptors can be used by teachers as a diagnostic tool to identify when a student may be ready to move on to GCSE.
- Read and understand a range of texts showing consideration to an audience.
- Use a wide range of strategies to tackle more difficult words in a variety of texts eg knowledge of suffixes and prefixes, grammatical knowledge, inference from words within the sentence.
- Demonstrate a firm understanding of significant points in a wide variety of texts eg ideas, themes, events, settings and character with detailed explanation.
- Locate and use ideas and information eg refer to the text to support their views.
- Be able to make inferences and deductions based on significant ideas, themes, events, and characters.
- Refer to the text when explaining or summarising to support their views.
- Begin to show awareness of the writer’s craft eg identify words or phrases that create atmosphere or build character, identify alliteration, simple similes and simple colloquialisms.
- Begin to show awareness of structure.
- Identify similarities and differences between significant ideas, themes, events and characters in two texts and make reference to the text to support their views eg ‘we know the character was … because…. This is the same in… because…’
- Express personal opinions and ideas showing awareness of the writers' viewpoint eg ‘I liked it when…I think the writer did this because…’
- Demonstrate a handwriting style which is fluent and legible eg writes at speed using own handwriting style which is usually joined.
- Organise writing appropriately for the purpose of the reader eg develops different writing genres (narrative, scripts, poem, email etc.) and shows awareness in style of different audiences (formal, informal).
- Sequence ideas often in a sustained, developed and interesting way eg grammatically complex and compound sentences to extend meaning, connectives to link ideas and paragraphs, evidence of a plan.
- Spell words generally accurately, including polysyllabic words that conform to regular patterns eg common prefixes ‘un’, ‘anti’ and suffixes ‘able’, ‘ed’, ‘less’, consonant doubling, high and some medium frequency words etc.
- Use full stops, capital letters, commas, speech marks and question marks accurately. Punctuation within sentences is beginning to develop eg apostrophes or brackets may be used but not always accurately.
- Make adventurous and effective choice of vocabulary eg to indicate a change of pace and tone 'suddenly', string of adjectives 'dark, grimy room'.
- Talk with confidence in a presentation eg in an formal context about personal experiences or a hobby.
- Adapt talk to purpose: developing ideas thoughtfully, describing events and conveying opinions clearly eg adapt complexity of their language depending on who they are speaking to.
- Use exaggeration, intonation, humour, pace and appropriate body language when presenting.
- Listen carefully in a range of different contexts eg in familiar and unfamiliar settings, in a range of group sizes and to a range of familiar and unfamiliar speakers.
- Make contributions and ask questions that are responsive to others’ views and ideas eg ask questions about peoples’ views and give reasons for their own viewpoint.
- Show respect for other peoples’ views eg by acknowledging that although someone may have a different opinion or idea it is still valid.
- Use appropriately some of the features of Standard English vocabulary and grammar eg passive structures and embedded clauses.
- Read fluently, accurately and with expression.
- Use a range of strategies to tackle words in a variety of texts eg phonetic structure, initial and final clusters, long vowel sounds, prefixes and suffixes.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the main points in a variety of texts eg characters, setting, theme with some explanation.
- Locate key points in texts eg note some differences between two newspaper reports on the same story.
- Make inferences based on a single piece of textual detail eg in a longer text answer questions about character’s actions or make predictions about feelings.
- Interpret at a literal level.
- Identify some features of the language used by the writer, often without comment eg identify adjectives, verbs and dialogue.
- Identify similarities and differences between character, an event, theme or presentation in two texts eg ‘in both texts the girls are happy. xxx is always laughing and xxx smiles a lot’.
- Express personal preferences with a limited awareness of the writer’s viewpoint or impact eg ‘I didn’t like it when … because I felt scared. I do not like horror’.
- Write legibly eg may choose to join letters, beginning to develop own handwriting style.
- Sometimes adapt writing style to match purpose and audience eg with prompts can choose style for a familiar writing purpose (letter, email, newspaper) and begins to use formal/informal language, but not consistently.
- Sequence ideas logically eg sentences are usually grammatically correct, writing has clear beginning, middle and end.
- Spell most words including common polysyllabic words accurately eg polysyllabic words or common diagraphs ‘wh’, ‘qu’, ‘sh’, some high frequency words that do not conform to spelling patterns.
- Use capital letters, full stops and question marks usually accurately.
- Choose words for variety and interest eg adjectives, adverbs, powerful verbs.
- Talk with confidence in different contexts eg school based only.
- Make sustained contributions, developing ideas and feelings eg converse on a wider range of subjects, thinking about use of adjectives and questions to maintain interest.
- Match language and non-verbal features to purpose and audience eg by adjusting tone, pace, volume and intonation.
- Listen carefully in different group situations eg familiar settings with familiar adults and peers.
- Respond to others, developing ideas and making helpful comments and suggestions eg make an appropriate comment about what they have heard.
- Take on different roles/responsibilities in working with others.
- Begin to show an awareness of Standard English eg use of pronouns to indicate someone or something that has already been mentioned and conjunctions to link words to the rest of the sentence.
- Read with some fluency and accuracy, reading most words on sight eg up to 200 words including high frequency, some medium frequency and CVCC, CCVC words.
- Use appropriate strategies to decode unfamiliar words eg blending ‘ch’, ‘sh’,‘th’,some long vowel sounds, simple prefixes and suffixes, common endings such as ‘ing’, ‘ed’, ‘er’, contextual clues.
- Recall some specific and straightforward information from texts eg describe a character, action or event with general accuracy.
- Locate main points and information in texts eg use a contents page, find and note an important sentence.
- Make simple inferences and deductions sometimes supported by textual detail eg make a prediction about characters' feelings based on an event.
- Use contextual clues to help understand the meaning of simple words/language choices eg ‘it can zip’ next to a picture of a sports car. The student can express that zip refers to speed.
- From two simple texts identify a similarity or difference between character, events or presentation eg when given an event from one text, say if it is the same or different in another text and say why.
- Make simple comments/observations about personal preferences sometimes supported with reasons eg ‘I liked it when…’
- Form letters accurately and consistently eg ascenders and descenders are clear and consistent.
- Show some awareness of narrative, non-narrative form and audience eg within a structure can follow a writing form such as a newspaper article, email or story and try to structure it clearly for the reader.
- Write mainly in simple sequenced sentences eg will make links between ideas or events.
- Spell phonetically plausible and most high frequency words with growing accuracy eg simple CVCC words or CCVC monosyllabic words and high frequency words. Inaccuracies are phonetically plausible.
- Demarcate most sentences with full stops and capital letters.
- Use appropriate words to create interest eg use adjectives to give more detail.
- Talk to familiar and sometimes unfamiliar people, especially on topics of personal interest.
- Communicate experiences, thoughts and feelings, linking ideas eg can communicate outside of their own immediate interests.
- Use simple devices such as variations in tone, pace, expression, vocabulary to hold the attention of the listener.
- Listen carefully in group settings to familiar and sometimes unfamiliar people, especially on topics of personal interest.
- Engage with others, making simple comments and suggestions eg agree or disagree with an idea and sometimes suggest an alternative.
- Take turns, making helpful, more extended contributions.
- Choose appropriate vocabulary including adjectives and adverbs according to audience and purpose eg speak to an unfamiliar adult differently than to a friend.
- Read some high frequency and familiar words in simple texts eg up to 45 high frequency words, phonetic CVC words.
- Use blending to decode some familiar and unfamiliar words eg use letter names and sounds to decode a CVC word.
- Recall main points from simple texts eg put a simple story in sequence.
- Locate some points and information in simple texts eg find the name of a shop on a business card.
- Make simple inferences and deductions eg make a simple prediction to a question in a picture story.
- Establish the meaning of a simple word in a wider context eg in a picture story understand that the phrase ‘sob sob’ next to a picture of a girl crying, refers to her being upset or sad.
- From two simple texts identify a similarity or difference between an event eg in response to adult questioning recall ‘the boys are sad’.
- Make simple comments/observations about personal preferences eg ‘I liked the book it was funny’.
- Form most letters correctly with possible confusion over upper and lower case eg all letters upper and lower case are correctly oriented.
- Inconsistently match writing to structure and understand that words have permanence eg work must be scaffolded within a writing frame and heavily modelled.
- Sometimes arrange ideas in appropriate order eg sequence three related events in a picture based text.
- Spell simple phonetically plausible and many high frequency words accurately eg monosyllabic words (‘it’, ‘on’, ‘up’), CVC words (‘cat’, ‘mum’) and high frequency words (‘the’, ‘I’, ‘in’) are usually correct or phonetically plausible.
- Show some awareness of full stops and capital letters.
- Use some simple descriptive language eg to indicate colour, size, emotion.
- Talk to familiar peers and adults in supported groups or 1:1, especially on matters of personal interest.
- Communicate feelings and ideas eg ‘I feel sad when…because…’
- When speaking to familiar peers and adults add some detail to sustain interest.
- Listen attentively to familiar peers and adults in supported groups or 1:1, especially on matters of interest.
- Engage with others eg agree or disagree with a comment or idea.
- Take turns.
- Use appropriate personal pronouns and begin to use different language to adults and peers.
- Specification for first teaching in 2015 (662.5 KB)